U.S. News & World Report Tags ‘Best Window Replacement Companies’September 28th, 2023 by Drew Vass, Executive Editor
U.S. News & World Report released its “Best Window Replacement Companies” for 2023, including nine manufacturers. Published through U.S. News 360 Reviews, the magazine selected window companies to award across categories ranging from Best Budget to Best Overall, noting the pros and cons of each provider.
“If the age, wear and tear on your current windows make the house look older and hurt your home’s energy efficiency, new windows can solve those problems,” the magazine’s editors suggested. Today’s engineering and fabrication techniques make the latest windows more durable and energy efficient than those of past decades, they noted.
In their estimates for energy savings, the publication cited information published by This Old House magazine, citing a benefit of between $101 and $583 per year in savings on energy bills. Going from double-pane to triple-pane can save between $27 and $197 per year, editors suggested.
The award for Best Overall went to Renewal by Andersen—Andersen’s replacement division, including products manufactured from a proprietary wood-plastic composite material known as Fibrex. Renewal by Andersen windows are manufactured, sold and installed by the company through full-service dealerships. Editors noted the availability of products across 48 states as a plus, along with the company’s longstanding 100-year history and the availability of virtual design tools. The brand offers performance specs ranging from a U-factor of 0.16 to 0.20.
As for the brands “cons,” the magazine listed a lack of sample pricing and the limitation of just one material.
Champion Windows’ lifetime coverage earned the company a designation for Best Warranty, including necessary parts, repairs and labor “at no extra cost.” Broken glass, seal failure, screen repairs and waste removal are also covered, the magazine noted.
The company was praised for keeping its installation services “in-house,” instead of subbing out, but dinged for a lack of nationwide coverage. “Nevertheless, its focus on service quality, year-round installation, and energy-efficient windows makes Champion a compelling window replacement option in the states where it’s available,” the article said.
The Best for Aluminum award went to Milgard, a Miter Brands company, noting that “few companies on our list provide this material for replacements.” At the same time, the brand’s biggest disadvantage is in limited availability, the magazine noted, as, according to the publication, Milgard is only available in Western states.
Marvin snagged the Best for Custom Options designation, with “many window types and design options,” as well as decorative and specialty glass, while Harvey Windows + Doors was awarded for Best Wood Windows. In the case of Harvey, the magazine reported that the company has a “sterling reputation,” with a 4.85 out of 5 stars rating with the Better Business Bureau and high customer ratings.
Pella landed an award for an abundance of Energy Star-rated products, earning the company a Best for the Environment award. In July, the company earned an honorable mention in [DWM]’s Annual Green Awards, noting that the manufacturer has 49 products in Energy Star’s Most Efficient 2023 database—more than any other. U.S. News & World Report also picked up on the company’s use of recycled stains, which was noted in [DWM]’s awards. On the downside, “you can only get an in-house installation if you live within range of a showroom; otherwise, you’ll have to hire an independent contractor, go through Lowe’s, or do it yourself,” the magazine noted.
Simonton Windows & Doors was designated Best for Vinyl, with 14 collections of vinyl windows and several glass options. With dealers, retailers and contractors across 50 states, the company was praised for being, “the most widely available vinyl window manufacturer” on the list.
Last, but not least, Jeld-Wen made the list as Best Budget, though the company was also noted for leading “the pack” by number of products and availability. Three out of the company’s 12 collections are labeled for their low prices, the magazine wrote, and a range of options that you would expect to find in more “elite collections.” Despite such wide availability, “the brand suffers due to customers having to be dependent on third-party installers who may or may not be experienced with the brand,” it warned.
Ultimately the publication suggested that “location matters as much as the type of windows you choose.” With some companies providing services and products regionally, the article noted the difficulties associated with shipping heavy windows, along with factors such as elevation changes that can impact products.
To form its list, the magazine’s contributor consulted experts, including a window company executive and the CEO of an organization that certifies window installers. Selections were then narrowed by product offerings and services available in each geographic region, concluding, “Overall, we found that the best window replacement company depends on where in the U.S. you live and what those companies can offer in your area.”